A record of the Sportsman's Battalions during the First World War, including a database of soldiers who enlisted in - or served with - the 23rd, 24th and 30th Royal Fusiliers, originally raised by Mrs. Emma Cunliffe-Owen in September 1914. If you have any questions or comments, please send to fmsketches@macbrem.com, thanks!

January 20, 1915

The Cornishman



The story of how a well-known visitor at the Land’s End (who may indeed be regarded, almost as a permanent resident) failed to enlist, was told in the Exeter Police Court on Wednesday, when Duncan Cowen appeared in answer to a summons charging him with being a wandering lunatic and not under proper control in High-street Exeter.

Mr. Cowen is well-known in the Land’s End district. A gentleman of independent means, he stays for the greater part of the ear at the Land’s End Hotel, and owns shooting rights in the locality. He is also interested in poultry, and keeps a considerable number of fowls.

Chief Inspector Martin said that morning about 1:30 defendant went to a constable in High-street and said he had been given some bad drink. He was suffering very much and did not feel responsible for himself. The man did not appear to be drunk. He was brought to the police station and medically examined by Dr. Parsons, who gave a certificate than the man was strange in his mind, but not a lunatic. Now he was much better. His explanation was that he must have been drugged by something which was put in his drink, which made him feel bad. Under the circumstances the police asked that the defendant might be discharged from custody.

Defendant, a man between forty and fifty years of age, superior in appearance, and of fine physique, told the magistrates that he must have been given something bad to drink. He came from Penzance on Tuesday to enlist. He tried to join the D.C.L.I., and afterwards another regiment, but they would not pass him, owing to his eyesight. he then heard that a Sportsmen’s Battalion was being formed at Exeter, and came up on Tuesday to the recruiting office in High-street to offer himself.

Chief Inspector Martin told the magistrates that he believed that that was correct.

The Chairman: You are discharged.

The Times



In the King’s Bench Division yesterday, before Mr. JUSTICE BAILHACHE, Mr. Saut Tumim, a money-lender, trading and registered as S. Turner, sued Mr. Alfred Halford to recover a sum of money due under a promissory note given in respect of a loan made by the plaintiff to be defendant.


Mr. MARRIOTT said that Mr. Halford was a stockbroker. When the war broke out and the Stock Exchange was closed his business came to an end. He was 45 years of age, and he enlisted as a private in the Sportsmen’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, in which men above the military age of 38 were allowed to join. His pay was 7s. a week


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